Last week the high school Key Clubs from Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee got together in Natchez and, since they are a service organization, did a service project that will make a lot of difference for a bunch of folks.
The sign on the wall proclaims this project to be Kids against Hunger. And compared to the age of the folks I work with, I guess they are kids. But the problem they've decided to tackle is grown-up. And it takes a certain level of maturity to even consider doing something about it.
But these young people are members of the Key Club, which is the largest high school service organization in the world. Jean Benoit is the Key Club advisor at Cathedral High in Natchez and says high school age is just right for getting people ready to get things done in their communities later in life.
"I think if you don't do this at this age they grow up to be adults that never really connect with their community and never really see how they fit into a bigger picture of life," said Benoit.
Zack Waldorf is in Natchez for the regional convention as a representative of the international organization. He says not only did he learn to help others from Key Club, it has helped him, too. "I got a lot of friends from it and it really sorta broke me out of my shy freshman shell," said Waldorf.
And today, these young people are doing a hands-on project, taking the food from these bulk packages and, as a team, combining them into usable sizes. 70-thousand packets of food will be put together today by these folks, so 70-thousand meals will be available that wouldn't have been other wise.
But although these volunteers are giving something, they are getting something, too.
"It gives them a reason to be selfless and it gives them the ability to change the world," said Benoit."
And as good as it is to see young people stepping up to the plate to do good things for others, it doesn't hurt the rest of us either, because these are the people who will be taking over our communities in not too many years.
"We are the future leaders of today, you know. We have to set examples," said Key Club International VP Xavier Hawkins.
Key Club International, setting examples while setting the table for folks who need food, Making A Difference for lots of people along the way.
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